Social media is always evolving. Long gone are the days when the platforms were just for socializing and posting status updates. In our digital-first world, social media has become a non-negotiable part of every savvy brand’s digital marketing strategy.
The ever-changing users’ behavior and never-ending innovative feature updates from social media platforms keep marketers on their toes. While all of the things that happen on the social media sphere feel never-ending, all the trends give you the opportunity to experiment and connect with your audience in a more effective way.
Now, the burning question is, “what’s on the horizon for 2022?”
Trend #1 – Short Videos Continue to Soar
Online videos still become an essential type of content in marketers’ mix. Cisco reports that global internet video traffic will be 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2022– up from 73% in 2017.
Thus, with the explosion of TikTok and the emergence of Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, we notice that users are now more driven to consume short-form video content. The reason why these types of videos are popular is the short attention span that social media users have.
Whether it’s dance videos, tutorials, motion graphics, storytelling, short-form video is much more digestible to consume and reduces the sense of commitment a user may feel when pressing play. No wonder they can spend hours scrolling through short videos.
So, when you aim to increase your brand awareness and expand your reach this year, it’s always best to add a short-form video to your social media marketing mix.
Trend #2 – More Streamlined Social Commerce
Since today’s customers always demand a quick and frictionless shopping experience, social commerce will be more streamlined. In other words, social media platforms will be an essential virtual mall of sorts, right in the palm of our hands.
Here are some staggering numbers that show social commerce has been gaining a lot of traction lately:
- 95% of U.S companies have switched to social media for their e-commerce channels.
- Social commerce in the US is set to grow to nearly $80 billion by 2025– that would account for just over 5% of the country’s retail e-commerce sales.
- 60% of GenZ users use Instagram to discover new brands or products.
Therefore, from Facebook Marketplace to Instagram Shops, today’s social media marketers should be more focused on allowing users to browse products, find new brands, and purchase within a few clicks.
Trend #3 – The Explosion of Story-Driven Content
As you might already see, every viral content tells a story. With good copywriting, it successfully evokes social media users’ emotions and tempts them to share the story with their followers, family, and friends. It means that hard-selling content will no longer be effective as it scares users away.
Story-driven content, whether it provides information or entertainment, is what captivates a user, it’s also what gives brands a voice. And a story that resonates is a story that is remembered.
According to the report, more than 92% of surveyed consumers want advertisements to tell a story. And 55% of them will make a purchase if the story is intriguing and relatable.
When you want to increase your brand recall and the chance of going viral on social media platforms, you can deliver your messages using a storytelling approach.
Nike is a great example of this. This popular sports brand relies on storytelling for its social media campaigns. See one of their inspirational video ads that they uploaded on YouTube:
Trend #4 – Channels for a Quick Customer Support
Gone are the days when a customer needed to send an email or make a call to the customer service team whenever they had a question about a product they sell.
In this fast-paced world, more than 82% of consumers look for an immediate response from brands on marketing or sales questions. That’s why more and more users use social media platforms to get quick customer support.
Not to mention that some social media platforms allow you to send automated messages, so you can answer the most-friendly questions in a matter of a minute without burning yourself out.
This quick and accessible way can result in a positive impression for your audience. And 71% of customers that have a pleasant customer experience with a brand on social media, are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family.
For example, Starbucks creates a Twitter account for their customers to answer their questions, gather feedback, and resolve any complaints.
Screenshot from Starbucks Care Twitter page
Trend #5 – Brands Get More Casual and Approachable
Younger generations are the most active social media users. In 2021, at least 79% of US millennials use social media multiple times a day.
One thing is clear here: Instead of advertising to everyone who watches TV or drives on the freeway, marketers need to make their brand messages suitable and appealing to people that are savvy, passionate, curious, and picky. One of the best ways to engage younger generations is to make them feel comfortable around your brand.
A casual, friendly tone is one of the reasons why young social media users want to interact with a brand. No more awkward, impersonal, and faceless marketing statements, it’s time for interactive, more engaging content.
All those personalized direct messages, emojis on captions, memes, or stickers on Instagram Stories make brands more human, engaging, and approachable for younger users.
Wendy’s is well-known for its witty, casual (sometimes even sarcastic) brand messages. As a popular fast-food chain, they know their target market– younger audiences. They rely on memes and short, conversational captions for their social media profiles like this one below:
Screenshot from Wendy’s Instagram page
Start Your 2022’s Social Media Marketing Strategy
It’s been interesting to see how some of those trends mentioned above have converged to drive innovation in social media beyond communicating with friends and family. With more than 4.6 billion users worldwide, social media has become an ideal channel for brands to cater to their customers– it’s also accessible and free to use.
With the top five trends mentioned above, you can take this year’s social media campaign to the next level as you understand what to expect.